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Superlight disc brake wheels

On_WhatOn_What Posts: 516
edited February 2014 in Cyclocross

My first CX bike has not even arrived yet, but I am already thinking about ways to lighten the bike. Currently it is sitting in the 10kg range with disc brakes and 32c tyres. I intend to keep the original wheelset for use when I decide to race cross, but want something for road work.

I can build wheels, my last pair were mountain bike wheels. I've read around, and think a 24H front and rear hub set with matching rims seems sensible. Although 20 is possible - ... clo-cross/ :?:

I am looking for rim recommendations, should I try a slim carbon rim (25mm - ... ink:top:en) or stick with aluminium? Ugo recommends building in the cheap chinese wheel thread, and the carbon rims are cheap.


  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,533
    Crikey - I wouldnt fancy 24H with disc brakes, never mind 20...!
  • VamPVamP Posts: 674
    A bit puzzled why lightweight wheels for road, and not tubs for racing? Surely you have that the wrong way around?

    Consider also how much weight you will save for the cost, and whether it's worthwhile - a 10kg bike is really heavy to start with. My race bike comes in at 7.1kg and that's not even a ww build.
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    What VamP said. In a cross race you're constantly accelerating, slowing down, and picking the bike up; I can't think of a discipline where light wheels would make more of a difference.

    I built a couple of pairs with Novatec 711/712 hubs, Iron Cross rims and DT Competition/Revolution spokes, 28F 32R, which came in a bit over 1400g for the set; they feel pretty stiff, and haven't needed tweaking all season.

    Planning to build some tub wheels for next season, either Mavic Reflex or 50mm Chinese carbon, expect them to come in around the same weight.
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • On_WhatOn_What Posts: 516
    Guys I did state that I am looking for a wheel for road work.

    TGOTB. I am interest edit o hear about your build with 50mm Chinese Carbon rims as sounds like similar to what I am thinking.
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    On_What wrote:
    Guys I did state that I am looking for a wheel for road work.

    TGOTB. I am interest edit o hear about your build with 50mm Chinese Carbon rims as sounds like similar to what I am thinking.
    Well... If I do build a pair with carbon rims they'll be specifically for riding in very muddy conditions; they'll probably come out about the same weight as the Reflexes, so no weight advantage, but deep rims can be better in mud.

    For road wheels (presumably clinchers) you could do a lot worse than Open Pros, which is exactly what I'm using for the wheels on my new (disc brake) commuter. £70 a pair from Winstanleys :-)
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • bobleybobley Posts: 60
    Having blatently copied TGOTB with his Iron Cross setup this year (although I went 32 spoke front and back) I'm now considering getting a set of Stans Alpha 400 for my road bike.

    This is the chap who built my Iron Cross wheels. He does a 20/24 Alpha 340 for peeps lighter than me which weighs in at 1320g and £370? I've seen blokes doing CX on Alpha 340s so surely they're reasonably strong? Not sure but you may need more spokes for disk brakes? ... 257f8962c9
  • You can bring your bike down from 10 Kg to 9.7 Kg... it won't make much difference. You can use lighter spokes and fewer of them, building less reliable wheels which won't be meaningfully faster outside a time trial and I assume you don't time trial with your cross bike.
    A lighter rim rides nicer than a heavy dull rim, but that's as far as I would go. There is really no benefit in lowering the spoke count for these wheels, it's a self-fulfilling exercise if the expression makes any sense.

    I have built wheels ranging from 1 Kg to 5 Kg, the majority being between 1.6-1.8 Kg. The happiest people seem to be those on the top of the weight bell shaped gaussian curve, rather than those at the light end. As I am not particularly interested in being seen at the cutting edge of racing equipment, feedback is the only thing that actually matters to me, which means I have pretty much given up on a lot of builds, like super light, carbon etc.
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